News Release: 3/17/2020 Oregon expands childcare benefits to support families and providers during spread of COVID-19

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March 17, 2020
Kate Brown, Governor
News Release

March 17, 2020
Jennifer Grentz, Self-Sufficiency Programs, 503-884-9071
Melanie Mesaros, Early Learning Division, 503-856-6040
Oregon expands childcare benefits to support families and providers during spread of COVID-19
Salem, OR -- To support Oregon’s working families dealing with the spread of COVID-19, Governor Brown directed the Oregon Department of Human Services and and the Early Learning Division to make changes to childcare benefits. The temporary changes, which are effective immediately, will help more low-income, working family’s access childcare and help providers stay in business during the state of emergency.
“At a time when Oregon’s families are weathering numerous difficulties in their daily lives due to the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on our economy, we need to do everything we can to make sure child care providers can keep their doors open so parents can continue to work,” said Governor Kate brown.
The changes are:
  • Eliminating co-pays for eligible families.
  • Providing access to more families by increasing the income limit from 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($4,040 per month for a family of four) to 250 percent of the federal poverty level or 85 percent of the state median income, whichever is higher for the family size ($5,899 per month for a family of four).
  • Ensuring more certainty for providers. Childcare providers are able to continue to receive payments from DHS, even if children are unable to attend or if they have to temporary shut down during the state of emergency. 
Providers and parents/caretakers may contact the DHS Direct Pay Unit with questions Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-699-9074.
“These measures are helping families access safe care for their children and will help stabilize childcare businesses during an unprecedented time,” said Early Learning System Director Miriam Calderon.
“It is important that we come together and help one another through this difficult time,” said Fariborz Pakseresht, Oregon DHS Director. “Childcare providers play an important role in supporting families, and we want to make sure families can still access this important service.”

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Jennifer Grentz, Self-Sufficiency Programs - (503) 884-9071, Melanie Mesaros /Early Learning Division - (503) 856-6040